Some days ago, I saw a tweet from my girl Moyin, and it cracked me up so much! In my opinion, I like to think she was giving us her two cents about working from home successfully – one of which will include not having yam for breakfast, if you don’t want to sleep off during meetings! It was in that moment that I got inspired to write this post, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that tweet.
Here’s the tweet;
The Covid 19 pandemic has caused a lot of people and organisations to adopt working remotely because of course, we need to stay at home and flatten the curve.
All over social media, I’ve seen people share pictures of their really pretty and organized work space, flatlays of their laptops and other stationeries and even pictures of them at work to show that they are working from home. These are all great things, particularly because I’m a sucker for cute work spaces and stationeries. But we know it takes more than a pretty work space and few pictures of you in glasses to successfully work from home.
So you know what I did? I went around for some first-hand information. As it’s our usual style here on TPH, I adopted the Q&A post method for this post and I got some really interesting information (and tips!) which I’ll be sharing with you today.
After reaching out to a couple of people about their honest experiences on working remotely, this was what they had to say;
Kufre, Digital Marketing/Sales Executive says: It’s been difficult, honestly. No light and poor internet, Waste money on fuel. The only thing motivating me is because I will get my pay check at the end of the month, because it’s draining. It would have been much fun if there was constant light and good internet provider.
Prince, Graphic Designer says: Well, it’s been exhausting. Now there’s no opening time or closing time. We work round the clock. There were times when had I been in the office, I’d have said “Damn it with this, it’s past 6. I’ll do it tomorrow. I’m going home” And no one would have complained. But now, I can’t go home. I AM home. But it’s more relaxing when the pressure’s down, and there’s petrol and internet that I’ve got to constantly make available to ensure this is smooth. Overall it’s challenging, but I make it work.
Tobi, Accountant/Financial Analyst says: I think I like this working from home thing. Only downside to it is, no closing hours means a tendency to overwork. I can plan my work better, do the very time bound and critical early in the morning, take a break and read, online course, personal stuff, resume early in the afternoon and then just cruise, work, play, do personal things and all till I fall asleep. I like the flexible planning it affords me.
Moyin, Client Engagement Personnel says: So I have had remote working experience prior to this, but not as extensive. First thing I realised is, I cannot be bothered to bath. Secondly, I spent half of the first week sleeping, my sleep pattern is still pretty messed up. In between family always calling you for something and scheduled work meetings and doing the actual work. Just imagine having a deadline but your mum is calling you to make Poundo yam, That is my story. Or your mum making faces while you are having a zoom video call, and you then have to turn off your camera and mute your mic so you can laugh.
Dupe, HR Officer says: In Lagos, asides the traffic hassle of back and forth, it’s actually a bit more work. You have to over communicate, you have to be extra careful, give feedbacks more early so it doesn’t look like you’re sleeping, avoid unnecessary excuses and try to compromise because everyone is dealing and you can’t start being the weakest link on making the whole stuff work. Good stuff is, you can work in a relaxed mode, can actually take a nap if you’re less busy, can also sleep well and avoid morning and evening rush, can do other fun stuff while working, you can sort of manage the pressure better. For me, the joy of what exactly I do keeps me going; i.e helping people out, giving people opportunities, solving problems and being a part of something bigger. Working from home is a whole lifestyle on its own.
Peace, Writer/Screenwriter says: So being a writer, working from home is a default setting for me. The only frustration is in lack of electricity and working internet connection. When I started work as screenwriter this February, I had both to work with and it made work much easier. I also have the best colleagues. Now with the lockdown I’m back to working from home. Suffering lack of electricity, horrible internet connection and having to now call my colleagues for help with stuff. It is stressful. Also, it is easy not to get much done because I can see my bed. And I can see the fridge. What keeps me going are the threatening deadlines from bosses though. On a personal note, I know if the lockdown is over and I have no personal work done, I’d hate myself so that keeps me motivated too.
Olayinka, Software Developer says: Working from home has been good for me. I love the flexibility I’m enjoying. I enjoy 24 hours electricity so that’s not a problem. I can lay on in my bed, relax, code and still meet up with deadlines. More importantly, I don’t get to spend much money. Going to work would have eaten deep into my savings, but right now I get to save my money. It’s been great so far!
Well, there you have it guys. I knew there had to be a backstory beyond all the glitz and glamour on social media. Haha! As fancy as it may sound, working from home is not as easy as you may think, as we can obviously see. Turns out there are employees who have never even had this experience before, and I can only imagine how hard it is to acclimatize.
Someone said, you being distant from work and proper interaction can get you lost, and this may happen faster when working from home is a new territory that you’re still trying to navigate. Humans are generally social human beings and we love to interact. Like Dupe said, it’s a whole lifestyle on its own and I totally agree.
Some other people feel like this is the perfect time to get the work done. They are in a very relaxed mood, no loud co-workers yapping in their faces and causing distractions, no stifling work space to give you anxiety. Now is the time they get to figure it all out and still be productive.
Can we also talk about family? Gosh! The other day on Instagram, I saw a video of someone taking work calls in their car because their family does not really understand the whole concept of working from home. I mean, who says you can’t talk to clients and still make breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time right? I can imagine that sometimes it’s funny, but also not funny.
Apart from the issues of constant electricity and steady internet that we still have to battle with in this part of the world, there are tons of things that can make working remotely a nightmare. Working in the office is not a walk in the park, but so is working at home. Which is why I was keen about what motivates them and how they make this work.
Like I said in this post, motivation is personal. And if there’s anything I’ve learned from today’s post, it’s that you need to find something to keep you going. I can suggest a ton of things for you to do to help you find your motivation like I did here . But I’ve realized that when it comes to matter of achieving that level of productivity you want, what works for me might not necessarily work for you (But it may help!). That’s why I decided to make this open to see what other people had to say and maybe find one or two scenarios we can relate with.
But my stand remains that you need to focus on something to enable you deliver your best – probably your pay check or remembering your why, just focus on the positives and take it one day at a time.